I have a knack for making awkward situations more awkward. Not in a cool trendy, “hey, I’m a total rebel and I’m doing this on purpose because I do what I want” kind of way though. It’s more like “hey, I’m socially awkward and am hoping you will misinterpret it as unconventional quirkiness… And then think I’m cool.”
But that’s just me.
Through junior high and high school I swung back and forth on pendulum between magnifying that “quirkiness” just to be different and trying to downplay it so I’d fit in a little better. Sadly enough it usually just depended on who I was around or who I was friends with that year (my friendships pinged around faster than ADHD squirrel on 5 Hour Energy when I high school).
I didn’t put a whole lot of stock in being me. That’s not to say I compromised morally or spiritually in order to fit in, but I tweaked myself. Being me was only as good as the friends it got me. Really, it didn’t even matter if those friends were popular as long as I just had some friends.
Boiled down, I only thought who I was mattered if other people thought it did. I didn’t realize, and sometimes blatantly ignored, the intrinsic value of just being me. Gangly, bushy-haired, and semi-awkward, but still me.
It’s so easy to look at other people and want to be who they are or want what they have. I used to wish I was better or art. Or good at math. Sometimes I even wished I was shorter (usually around prom when I became over 6 feet tall in heels). And then there was the point in time when I really wished I was musical so I could be some hardcore head-banging chick and my unruly hair would finally serve a purpose…. So I dressed like I was in a band for the better part of two years, feeding into the illusion, and hoped no one asked me to even so much as play Guitar Hero (I’m hopeless at that as well).
I spent a lot of time wishing to be someone else and not very much time embracing who I was. This isn’t about comparing yourself to others, although that plays into it. This is about being you and being okay with it.
Everyone wants to be remembered, to leave their mark on this world, to make a difference and an impact. But if all your time and energy is spent trying to be someone else, it’ll never happen. God made you an original, stop striving to be a copy. Celebrate what makes you different, the quirks, the hiccups, the weird, the incredible. Rejoice in your strengths and laugh about your weaknesses. And KNOW…that God can use even your weaknesses.
God did not randomly draw your personality traits and appearance out of a grab bag. He sculpted you and formed you. He chose talents, strengths, and characteristics especially for you. He set you apart for a purpose that no one else can fulfill because no one else is you. Your personality, even the things you may see as imperfections (your “quirks”), is what makes you a unique tool in the hand of God. He can use you in specific situations and use you to minister to particular people’s hearts just because you are YOU. Even the issues you struggle through make you uniquely relatable. God wastes nothing. He has called you, He has made you, He has set you apart.
There never was and never will be another you. Don’t try to erase who you are completely by trying to change who God has made you to be. The world NEEDS you to be YOU.
Ephesians 2:10- For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Psalm 139:14- I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Coleen York is a writer, blogger, and speaker whose passion is to inspire the upcoming generation to build the foundation of their lives, relationships, and identity in Jesus Christ. Coleen has served as an editor, event planner, and a social architect and firmly believes in using every outlet possible to share how Jesus transforms lives and relationships. Coleen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a background in Journalism and Media Art from Westminster College. She has also received training in Pastoral Leadership from Hillsong International Leadership College and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling.